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September 02, 2009

Everything Old is New Again: Nixon vs Kennedy on Health Care - (Mætenloch)

With everyone embroiled in battling over ObamaCare, it's easy to forget that we've been down this road before. The clips below are from 1971 and 1974 and show competing plans from Richard Nixon and Ted Kennedy along with a cameo appearance by Caspar Weinberger.

To my ears the Nixon plan actually sounds pretty good. It would be based around private health insurance and could potentially cover everyone without being compulsory. By contrast the Kennedy plan was basically a compulsory single payer system that would be paid for out of Social Security taxes. Based on the details from the report it looks like ObamaCare would even go beyond the old Kennedy plan. But I will admit up front that when it comes to health care my wonkery-fu is weak and I may have missed some relevant details.

Of course neither of these plans ever got passed, and we've muddled through for the last 38 years. Supposedly one of Ted Kennedy's greatest regrets is that he didn't take Nixon up on his offer of a bipartisan health care compromise. Instead he held out for the single payer whole loaf and got nothing.



H/T to Milk and Cookies for finding the clip.


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posted by xgenghisx at 05:32 PM

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